It has been a very long time since I have given an update on my progress here, as well as being a long time since I have updated this blog. I have had very good intentions to update it every week and would love to do much more frequent posts, but I am still trying to figure out how to manage my time. There are so many things demanding my time between planting, butchering and our business not to mention a brand new puppy but more about him later… that I have a hard time keeping them all straight. But I will keep trying, I have lots to say, but just have not seemed to have the time to say it.
The Garden is In!
That said, life is pretty full and hectic right now, we have 45 chickens waiting to be butchered, and the garden is almost all in. Today we had our second small picking from the garden of broccoli; it was enough to add to our meal tonight so that put a grin on everyone’s face. The last picking I did resulted in small salads for my husband and myself.
Lettuce is plentiful and I have Swiss chard and spinach that is close to being pickable. We also have more green onions than we could possible eat.
Rain is playing havoc on the seeds we just planted but I keep going out there and covering them back up. It is not that I did not plant them deep enough as much as it is that we live on a slope and the rain erodes the soil.
Pumpkins, summer squash and cukes are all up, and tomatoes are doing very well, they have only been in the ground for about a week, but show signs of new growth. Potatoes are up as well, not bad considering that I am usually just getting my garden started this time of year in Pennsylvania.
I have also put in raspberries, black berries, strawberries and have an herb garden in as well. I am planting watermelon and cantaloupes tomorrow as well, Not as wide of a range of fruit as I would like for our first year but better than I expected to have planted. I am not expecting much from the berries, Patients is necessary here, but I am looking forward to our harvest next year.
All in all I am really pleased with how well my garden is doing to this point. I spent a lot of time worrying for nothing because I was concerned about this being the first year on newly tilled soil. We also have a shortage of water to deal with, but we are learning how to manage that as well.
Chickens, Turkeys and Too Many Eggs
We continue to get about 2 dozen eggs a day, we are going to cull down our layer flock a bit, because we cannot use or get rid of so many eggs. We figure 10-15 eggs a day will be easy enough to deal with. I am starting to find ways to freeze the eggs so if we do not have a lot of eggs later we will have something to fall back on, now is a good time to do that, with such an abundance, but more about that later.
Turkeys are on their way in June as well, by the end of the summer we will have put a total of 65 chickens and 5 turkeys in the freezer.
Starting from scratch I did not expect to be this far this year, I am very pleased with where we are at, We have lots of plans for next year, a bee hive, goats, more berries and fruit trees, but we have made excellent progress this year, and God Willing will end the year with a respectable amount of food put up for the winter.
Other plans this year are to resume learning to make soap and using it to make laundry soap, body soap and a wide range of other products for the home and to learn how to make some of our own medicinals. I am also going to try my hand at sausage making, as soon as my meat grinder I have ordered arrives. I will keep you all up to date on how all of that goes as well.
And here is a picture of our New puppy Howler just because he is too Adorable Not to post, He as grown a lot since this picture, he is 10 pounds here just 5 weeks ago, and is now 30 pounds!! He is an Alaskan Malamute and is the softest most cuddly puppy you would ever want to meet. While the breed is not for everyone, I have had extensive experience with them, and they are hands down my favorite dogs. He will make a great addition to our family!!